The Government of Canada seeks to contribute towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through improved coordination, supporting coalitions, and the broadening and strengthening of programming by identifying and addressing local needs of all urban Indigenous peoples.
The Indigenous population is diverse and young, with nearly half (44.6%) of the population under the age of twenty-five years. It is expected that the Indigenous population will remain the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population and more than half of Indigenous peoples in Canada live in urban centres.
The reasons why Indigenous people move to urban centres are many and range from education and job opportunities to the lifestyle found in the city. The transition to urban life can, however, be difficult and many of those seeking urban life are often unable to access the supports needed for a successful transition from often remote and isolated reserves.
In May 2017, the Government of Canada announced the launch of the Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples (UPIP) which replaces the previous Urban Aboriginal Strategy, based on feedback received during the engagement on the Urban Aboriginal Strategy that took place in 2016.
The UPIP aims to improve the quality of life for the more than 780,000 Indigenous people living in Canada’s urban areas. The Program offers four streams of funding: 1) organizational capacity; 2) programs and services; 3) coalition tables; and 4) research and innovation.
NAFC will administer the Friendship Centre’s Organization Capacity and Program and Services funding through its network of Provincial Territorial Associations (PTAs). The NAFC will also administer the program directly to Friendship Centres in the Atlantic Region (5 Centres) and the Yukon (1 Centre).
INAC has retained funding under the organizational capacity and programs and services funding streams and will administer funds for all other Indigenous organizations, through a Call for Proposals.